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Dragon boat races again, but maybe not

August 11, 2008

Saturday was another racing day for our dragon boat team. While I have historically been more of a ‘support’ team member due to not being able to afford the entry and membership fees, things have started to change. Last Monday at practice I was asked to jump in the boat to paddle the second leg as there weren’t enough people that showed up. It was AWESOME! I LOVED it! Granted, my stamina wasn’t exactly what I’d hoped for, but it was such a rush!

The captain of the team was informed of my apparent strength and quick grasp of the different strokes, and she asked if I was going to be at the races on Saturday. She said they need strong paddlers, and that she wanted to put me in one of the races on Saturday if I was game. Wootness! But of course I had to tell her that we aren’t in a position to cover all of the fees for both of us so she may want to reconsider that offer, and she said PFFFT! “It’s just between the three of us, and I’m telling you to just not worry about it. Our secret.” Well well well!!

So of course I was nervous as hell Saturday morning as we left at 7 AM for Woodstock. Nervous, but so excited! The Woodstock races host about 46 teams so it’s a lot bigger than the last one we did. Each heat consists of 4 boats at a time instead of two, so obviously the pressure is a little tighter. But hey, give me a challenge and I’m up for it!! Even with the fact that the race length was 500 metres instead of 300. Bring it on.

It was a balmy morning on Saturday but the sun came out and it was gorgeous. Our team got through two heats with our best times in probably the past few years!! I was slotted to paddle in the engine room for heat 3 and I was sooooo stoked!

And then.

It happened.

The sky opened up and completely soaked us. High winds, black clouds, loud claps of thunder and wicked jolts of lightening. Everyone was running and taking cover in their teams tents and tarps, and trying with no success to stay dry.

The announcer kept saying “we’re going to wait another 5-10 minutes to see what the word is from Great North and we’ll let you know when we’re going to start again.” Ugh. That went on for about an hour and a half. Yes. No. We’re starting. We have to wait. Next team load the boats. Teams get out of the boat and off the water. UGH!

Needless to say the even finally was called and we all had to pack up and call it a day. SUCH a bummer! We didn’t even get close to the medal rounds. No awards. No sense of completion or achievement. No race for me. Sigh.

So alas. Tonight we have practice and it’s an iffy day looking at the clouds. Hopefully we’ll be able to get out and do some paddling. Lot of practice to get 20 people stroking in sync and at the same paddle depth and angle. But hey, we’re going to be in great form for the next races!! Wootness!! And hey, it was still an awesome day. Lots fun, laughter and great conversation. Good food. And a few heats with some damn awesome times.

Next races are September 13th in Stratford. THIS one is a REALLY huge event. Over 100 teams at that one! YIKES!!

Bring it on!

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3 comments

  1. Woohoo! How cool that you got hand-picked for one of the teams! You should be proud 😀


  2. Wow! Congrats on getting picked! I saw an ad for some local dragon boat races here in New England, and I thought of you. I so want to go so I can see this cool sport in person!


  3. Go you!!! Woo Hoo!!



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